Interview with Asian Senior Champion

Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Interview with Asian Senior Champion

Interview with FIDE Master Amir Massoud Sawadkuhi, Asian

Senior Champion 2011

Q: Please introduce yourself.

I'm Massoud Amir SawadKuhi from Iran. I was born in Tehran in 1942. After high school in 1962 I went to Germany. At first I graduated with a degree in Construction Engineering and worked as an Engineer. Then in 1974 I went back to Iran and worked for a few years after the revolution there. Then I went back to Germany to to get a PhD in Physics. After that I worked as a researcher in the University and many of my researches were published in the famous Science magazines. After retirement in 2005 I went back to Iran. Now I live in Sari which is the center of Mazandaran Perovince in North of Iran.

Q: When did you start playing chess?

A: I learned chess from my father, and started to play chess in Alborz High School of Tehran which was one of the best high schools in Iran!

My Success grown very fast and at 17 I took third place in the Iranian Chess Championship and qualified as a member of Iran National Team!

Q: What was your strongest tournament and your best results?

A: I played on Board 4 of Iran Team in Skopje Olympiad 1972 and with 12 Points out of 15 games (80%)I got bronze Medal, according the percentage it was best result of one Iranian Chess Players till now!

In the Nice Olympiad 1974 I played board 5 and got the bronze medal but this time I shared it with a player from Finland.

I played in about ten IM closed tournaments and more than a hundred open tournaments in Europe. I got the FM title and two IM norms.

When I was living in Germany I played in team competitions for more than 40 years. I became many times champion of my school, my University, my City and also I taught chess in our club. I received for my efforts in Braunschweig and  Kiel, cities in Germany, the Silver Medal of Honor.

After I came back to Iran I played five times in the Iran Senior Championship and except for one second place, I finished first in all.

This year I got first place in the Asian Senior Championship 2011 in Sri Lanka. It brought me the IM title and a GM norm. I played five times also in the World Seniors Championship, twice under the flag of Germany and three times under the Iranian flag.

Also I played in many open tournaments in Iran and my best result was second place in the Chi Chest Open Tournament in 2010!

Q. What was the best chess book you ever read?

A: The best book that I read in my youth was "The Middlegame in Chess" by Dr. Max Euwe. When I immigrated to Germany "My System" by Nimzowitch and "My Best Games of Chess" by Alekhine influenced my chess style alot.

Q: What is the best system of learning chess for young players?

A: I believe that best system of learning chess is to learn typical ideas of middlegame and endgame in chess and besides that to play with a little stronger opponents. All the games should be analyzed at home and checked with the help of stronger players and computer.

Q: What is your idea about the influence of computers and chess programs?

A: In the last 20 years, computer helped a lot to improve chess. This facility also like other new technological facilities has both good and bad sides. For example, strong software like Fritz easily shows you the strongest move for your analysis but on the other hand they seriously undermined the correspondence chess because most of the people check their games with computers. You can play chess with computers or even on the internet everywhere but on the other hand you worry that some players use software assistants even in serious games for cheating. Even with your mobile in the rest room, with 2 - 3 times use during critical moments of the game, a player can play easily 200 rating points higher than their level. I hope FIDE can find a practical way to stop all of this.

Q: What is your best masterpiece?

A: My game against IM Terry Jan Shaw 2390 from Australia in the Skopje Olympiad 1972 was my best game with complicated tactics. This game was published in Chess Informant and is available in most databases.

Sawadkuhi,Massoud Amir - Shaw,Terrey Ian   31.f6 cxb2+ 32.Kxb2 Bxd5 33.Qh7+ Kf8

34.Qh8+! 1–0

Q: What is the difference between playing chess among the youth and older players?

A: The number of brain cells among the youth is growing every day, between 20 to 50 years old the numbers are stable, but after 50 the number of brain Cells decreases. Therefore calculation power becomes weaker but experience and intuition will compensate for it.

Q: What are your next tournaments?

A: I’ll play in some open tournament in Iran and then I plan to play in the World Seniors Championship 2011 which will be held in Opatija Croatia from 14- 27 November.

Q: What is your recommendation to improve chess in Asia?

Chess in Asia improved a lot in the last ten years. China, India and Vietnam improved very fast! Iran also in the last 20 years improved very much, and good examples of that are GM Ehsan Ghaem Maghami and WGM Atousa Pourkashiyan.

But for example in Iran the main problem is lack of opportunity to play in international tournaments and the possibility of practice with good trainers. The good Iranian players among the juniors and youth are mostly from rich families who can afford trainers and participation in international tournaments. I believe the only way to improve chess for all young talented players in Iran is to increase reasonably the budget of the Iranian Chess Federation.

You see that now Iran is very strong in the Asian Senior level and won in last two years Iranian Senior.